This very short and brief post is going to be focused solely on recognizing hip flexor strain symptoms and a little on diagnosing the severity of the injury.
Hip Flexor Strain Symptoms
A strain is one of the easiest injuries to recognize when it happens because it almost always happens while you are exercising in one way or another. A strain occurs when you overstretch beyond your muscle’s current operational range of motion. For hip flexors in particular this usually occurs when you pull up your leg too forcefully, often when sprinting.
So that’s the cause, what about the symptoms? You’ll typically feel that extra stretch and pain during that moment when you overstretch. Afterwards you’ll notice that it hurts whenever you activate that muscle. This means that most hip flexor strains will hurt whenever you lift your leg.
Note that the degree you lift after you’ve strained a muscle will correspond to the amount of pain felt. For example if you’re just walking it will hurt a little bit because you’re only lifting your leg a bit. On the other hand if you’re lifting it higher to try and run or go up stairs it will hurt substantially more.
Finally I want to talk about severity quickly. Depending on how severe the strain is your hip flexor will hurt accordingly. A minor strain won’t hurt too much, but a grade 3 strain may not allow you to even walk. Either way don’t play through it and even if it’s minor engage in some basic hip flexor treatment at the very least.